Windows 10: When is a dedicated computer server better than a NAS?

  1.    17 Feb 2018 #1

    When is a dedicated computer server better than a NAS?


    My understanding is that a NAS is sort of the middle between an external hard drive and a computer server. It has CPU power that an external hard drive doesn't have but it's nowhere near the power of a computer server.

    It seems that NAS's are getting pretty popular and I currently use mine to act as my backup solution, my Plex Media Server, my own private cloud, VPN server, etc. I'm starting to realize that perhaps all of this might be too much for my NAS's CPU.

    For example, when I access my Plex Media Server remotely, it takes all of its CPU to transcode some of my movies that I haven't had the time to re-format so that it streams optimally. Wouldn't it be better if I took an old computer and simply made it into my Plex Media Server? It'll be more powerful and transcode faster. It will also won't be responsible for doing all the other things that needs to be done like backing up, acting as a VPN server, etc.

    What if I took this step even further and made one of my old computers into a VPN server. This computer will now be dedicated to encrypting and decrypting all the data that gets sent out into the internet for ALL my devices. This is something that my router could do but slowly.

    I'm wondering if I'm just putting too much stock into my NAS and setup computer servers on my network instead.

    What do you guys think? Any ideas?

    Thanks everyone for your help!!! You guys are the best.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    18 Feb 2018 #2

    You basically answered your own question -- in that a "Server" is better when you need to do stuff other than just file sharing.

    Your examples of Plex Media Server and VPN server are examples of where just file sharing is not enough, and having just a NAS would not provide the functionality you need.

    I have an "older" computer that I original turned into a file server, but then later, added Plex Media Server capabilities to it.

    So, if you have the need for additional functionality, then additional Servers are the way to go (IMHO).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    18 Feb 2018 #3

    You should think about energy consumption too. Old PCs use a lot of power and it adds up if you are running it 24*7.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    18 Feb 2018 #4

    My NAS also runs pretty 24/7 as well. It has 2 fans rather than 3 though.

    lx07 said: View Post
    You should think about energy consumption too. Old PCs use a lot of power and it adds up if you are running it 24*7.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    18 Feb 2018 #5

    CerebralFreeze said: View Post
    My NAS also runs pretty 24/7 as well. It has 2 fans rather than 3 though.
    if you are using your NAS to store backups then having it on all the time opens the door to losing your backups if your struck with ransomeware. something to think about.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    19 Feb 2018 #6

    CerebralFreeze said: View Post
    My NAS also runs pretty 24/7 as well. It has 2 fans rather than 3 though.
    Hi there.

    A NAS running Headless I.E no monitor etc connected doesn't use much power as a Laptop with an I5 CPU which probably will use just as much if not more. An idling NAS uses almost no significant electricity at all -- probably around 10 - 15 watts. !!! Shutting it down and then re-booting with Monitor connected will I'm sure cost more than just leaving it idling 24/7.

    I know where I am power is cheap (my electric bill is approx. 0.85 EUR a day) but I'm sure even in more expensive places electricity consumption (unless you live in a mega mansion) can't cost more than around 2 - 3 EUR a day max.

    For those not used to EUR -- 1GBP = approx. 1.13 EUR and 1 EUR = approx. USD 1.24 i.e 1 USD = approx. 0.81 EUR.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 600
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       19 Feb 2018 #7

    CerebralFreeze said: View Post
    My understanding is that a NAS is sort of the middle between an external hard drive and a computer server. It has CPU power that an external hard drive doesn't have but it's nowhere near the power of a computer server.

    It seems that NAS's are getting pretty popular and I currently use mine to act as my backup solution, my Plex Media Server, my own private cloud, VPN server, etc. I'm starting to realize that perhaps all of this might be too much for my NAS's CPU.

    For example, when I access my Plex Media Server remotely, it takes all of its CPU to transcode some of my movies that I haven't had the time to re-format so that it streams optimally. Wouldn't it be better if I took an old computer and simply made it into my Plex Media Server? It'll be more powerful and transcode faster. It will also won't be responsible for doing all the other things that needs to be done like backing up, acting as a VPN server, etc.

    What if I took this step even further and made one of my old computers into a VPN server. This computer will now be dedicated to encrypting and decrypting all the data that gets sent out into the internet for ALL my devices. This is something that my router could do but slowly.

    I'm wondering if I'm just putting too much stock into my NAS and setup computer servers on my network instead.

    What do you guys think? Any ideas?

    Thanks everyone for your help!!! You guys are the best.
    Yes the definition of NAS Network Attached Storage answer your question all they are intended to handle file storage and Access any other services should be handled by a server intended for those applications. If you NAS is having issues with storage and access to your, files you might want to consider your choice of hardware. Any Good quality NAS on a GB LAN should be able to handle backups and Stream movies at the same time
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 

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